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We need people to start realizing that eating and nourishing are not the same thing. Think about it.  If you eat a donut and drink a soda, you have eaten and drunk, but you certainly have not nourished or hydrated yourself. Nourishing is about consuming the right vitamins, minerals and fiber to help your body and mind grow stronger, to help you learn and perform better, and to help you lead a happier, more fulfilled life.

We need to change the way we think about food.  We need to stop just looking at calories and start looking at the nutrients we need.   We need a nourishment strategy–a plan designed to help us make smart choices about those foods that will make us feel, perform and look better.

Colorful fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, beans and legumes, salmon, tuna and nuts are all excellent food choices when creating a nourishment strategy. When cooked with a little creativity, all these foods taste great and you will soon wonder why you did not make them a part of your life sooner.  

A nourishment strategy is also about avoiding foods that are not your friends. These items include added sugar, bad fats, sodium and other preservatives. You should minimize or eliminate these items whenever possible. These foods can cause body and joint pain, fatigue, swings in mood and attention span, aggressive behavior, decreased learning ability, and weight gain.

It is important to know the difference between good fats and bad fats when creating your nourishment strategy. Man-made fats like trans fats should be eliminated from your diet.  On the other hand, most plant-based fats are good fats and you should include them in your diet. These are found in nuts, avocados and seeds. Animal fats should be eaten in moderation.  Fats found in oily fish, like salmon and tuna, are great choices. Butter, in moderation, is vastly superior to margarine.

As you develop your strategy, it is important to know that certain foods can solve specific problems. There are foods that reduce stress and inflammation, and other foods that improve digestion and the immune system. Look at foods that make your life happier, more pain free, etc. and build them into your nourishment strategy.

A well-thought-out nutrition plan is also critical for children, especially from birth to age ten, because that is when they develop physically and mentally. Smart nutrition is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child. Without proper nutrients, they may not develop to their full potential. A good nutrition strategy during these early years is a critical step toward ensuring they will do better and be happier in everything they do for the rest of their lives.

Let’s review what can make your life happier and more fulfilled: Stop eating and start nourishing! Learn which foods have the vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs. Learn the four food items that are not your friends andminimize or even eliminate them. Remember that certain foods help specific issues, such as inflammation and stress. A smart nourishment strategy will lead to a better mood, increased energy level, and a pain-free and happier life.